International News - Issue 198




Vidic Seals The Deal With Inter
Inter Milan have confirmed the signing of Manchester United captain Nemanja Vidic. As was widely speculated, the centre-back will join the Serie A giants at the end of the season. Vidic joined the Red Devils from Spartak Moscow in January 2006, and helped the club win five Premier League titles, one Champions League crown, and five FA Cups. - Full Story via Sky Sports

Barclays and the Premier League have joined together to develop the first Barclays Premier League fan park. Supporters in South Africa will have the opportunity to watch five live matches broadcast on a 100-metre squares screen, meet legends of the Barclays Premier League and get up close with the iconic Barclays Premier League Trophy. The inaugural Barclays Premier League Live event will take place at the Zoo Lake Sports Club in Johannesburg on March 29 and 30. Barclays Premier League Live is a free interactive experience designed for the entire family to enjoy. There is capacity for 12 000 supporters each day and admission will be on a first-come, first-served basis. The local opening times and live matches to be shown at Barclays Premier League Live in Johannesburg are:

Saturday, March 29
14:45 – Manchester United v Aston Villa
17:00 – Chelsea v Crystal Palace
19:30 – Arsenal v Manchester City
Sunday, March 30
14:30 – Fulham v Everton
17:00 – Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur

Barclays Premier League Live is all about rewarding those fans and showcasing the passion and excitement of Barclays Premier League matches and grounds. There are a number of zones that will bring the Barclays Premier League to life in Johannesburg. South African fans can keep up with the latest developments about Barclays Premier League Live at the website www.BPLLive.com and should look out for Twitter updates from @premierleague and the hashtag #BPLLive. Barclays Premier League Live will be an annual event and next season will head to the United States of America, before appearing in Asia during the 2015/16 season.

Jose Mourinho has launched a thinly-veiled dig at Liverpool’s ‘penalty king’ Luis Suarez after Chelsea’s victory over Tottenham. The Blues boss saw his side frustrated in a goalless first-half, with Eden Hazard missing an open goal after rounding Hugo Lloris. However, when quizzed on the miss, Mourinho chose to aim a dig towards his title rivals and Suarez, whom he accused of ‘doing an acrobatic swimming pool jump to try to get a penalty during Chelsea’s 2-1 win over Liverpool in December. - Full Story via Metro

Bacary Sagna has reportedly told Arsenal he wants £120,000-a-week, a £6million signing bonus and a testimonial to stop him walking away from the Emirates. The France international is out of contract at the end of the season and has already been offered huge sums to play on the continent.  Sagna has been offered deals worth £20million net by Monaco and Galatasaray, according to the Daily Star, which will put £100,000 into his bank account every week. - Full Story via Metro

Toni Kroos has once again opened the door to a move to Manchester United by admitting the Premier League is a serious option for him, and saying he wouldn’t be fazed by lack of Champions League football. The Bayern Munich midfielder’s contract expires in 2015, and with no extension talks currently scheduled, United are giving serious consideration to a £25million summer bid. Kroos, 24, is demanding wage parity with team-mate Mario Goetze, who earns nearly double his current salary, but Bayern are holding firm and advising their academy graduate not to ‘over play his hand’. - Full Story via Metro

Tim Sherwood has warned Tottenham he has no intention of being Louis van Gaal’s No.2, after admitting the silence about his future as boss at White Hart Lane is ‘deafening’. Speculation over Sherwood’s role has not gone away despite the former youth team coach being handed an 18-month deal when he was asked to replace Andre Villas-Boas in December. Tottenham have been repeatedly linked with Van Gaal in recent weeks – with the Holland coach’s own comments on the matter doing little to dispel the rumours and Spurs chairman Daniel Levy remaining tight-lipped. - Full Story via Metro

Juan Mata has revealed that he’s hoping to occupy a more central role for Manchester United after being farmed out on the wings since his move from Chelsea. The Spaniard completed his club-record £37.1million move from the Blues in January, but has only found space on the flanks in Moyes’ 4-4-2 or 4-2-3-1 formations. However, after helping United to a 3-0 win at West Brom, Mata revealed his favoured position. - Full Story via Metro

Sergio Ramos was the subject of a huge bid from a Premier League club, according to the Real Madrid man’s agent. The Spanish international has two years left to run on his current contract at the Bernabeu and Rene Ramos, the defender’s brother and agent, claims an unnamed English side – believed to be Manchester City – tried to tempt the 27-year-old away with a mammoth offer. - Full Story via Metro

Arsenal and Wigan will fight it out for a place in the FA Cup final after being set on course for a semi-final clash. The Gunners will face Wigan, who defeated Manchester City in the last quarter-final of the round, while Hull will play Sheffield United in the other Wembley tie. The games will be played over the weekend of April 12 and 13.

David Meyler hit back at Newcastle manager Alan Pardew in comedy style by headbutting the corner flag in celebration after helping to book Hull’s place in the FA Cup semi-finals. The Irish midfielder, who was the victim of Pardew’s infamous headbutt last weekend, threw his head in to the corner flag after scoring Hull’s second goal that all-but buried Sunderland 3-0 in their quarter-final at the KC Stadium. - Full Story via Metro

Moments of fair play are few and far between in the 18-yard area, so it was refreshing to see Werder Bremen’s Aaron Hunt own up to diving and convince the referee to overturn a penalty decision in the Bundesliga on the weekend. The 27-year-old was seemingly clipped as he charged into the box of Bremen’s clash against Nurnberg, but when the referee pointed to the spot, Hunt did the honourable thing and confessed to his dive. Of course, Bremen were winning 2-0 at the time, but the German international deserves the thumbs. - Full Story via Metro

Liverpool have reportedly stepped up their interest in Red Bull Salzburg centre-back Martin Hinteregger. The Anfield club sent scouts to see the Austria international in action for his country in their 1-1 friendly draw with Uruguay last Wednesday. Hinteregger dealt with the threat of danger man Luis Suarez relatively well in Klagenfurt, and also furthered his reputation as a cultured defender in possession to boot. The 21-year-old is valued at around £8.5million, with Inter Milan and even Barcelona tracking his development. - Full Story via Metro

Reports in Ghana suggest that a young referee has died as a result of injuries inflicted after fans had attacked him. Twenty-one-year-old Kyei Andoh had officiated a match in the Third Division between Gold Stars and Naajoe United last weekend, and was allegedly assaulted by the home fans. He seemed fine after the incident, but then passed away on Friday. - Full Story via Kickoff Nigeria

Under-fire boss David Moyes has penned an open letter to Manchester United's fans in which he admits he is finding his first season at Old Trafford to be more challenging than expected. However, the Scot, who was hand-picked by his predecessor Sir Alex Ferguson in the offseason, is adamant he can match expectations in the future. "While I knew that this job would be a challenge when I took it on, the difficult season we have experienced was not something that I envisaged, which I am sure is the case as well for you supporters," wrote Moyes. - Full Story via Kickoff

Arsenal have suffered another huge blow in their hunt for elusive silverware after Jack Wilshere was ruled out for six weeks with a foot injury. Wilshere connected with the underside of Daniel Agger's boot during England's friendly with Denmark on Wednesday night and play was stopped as he received treatment. The Gunners midfielder then came back onto the pitch to complete an hour on the field and after the match indicated that it was "just a bruise". - Full Story via Kickoff

Building on Nike’s history of groundbreaking innovation in performance footwear, the radical new Magista Football boot redefines the concept of how football boots look and perform. Providing improved fit, touch and traction, the boot is designed for the needs of the creative playmaker. Nike Flyknit technology has been engineered for football for the first time, allowing the foot to get closer to the ball and to deliver enhanced ball-feel and control. The boot was unveiled by FC Barcelona playmaker AndrĂ©s Iniesta in Spain. - Full Story via Nike Inc

Liverpool striker Luis Suarez says that he will stay at the club next season whether they qualify for the Champions League or not. The striker confirms that he wants to play Champions League football again having last played there in 2010 for Ajax. In an interview with FourFourTwo magazine on whether he would stay at Anfield if Liverpool failed to finish in the top four of the League, Suarez said: "I think so. I signed my new contract because I'm very happy here and I want to stay where I'm enjoying football and life. Playing in the Champions League isn't dependent on that." - Full Story via The Independent

Zlatan Ibrahimovic can chalk another name up on the ‘no friends list’ after infuriating Djibril Cisse over the weekend. The Frenchman has hit out at the Paris Saint-Germain star for his disrespectful attitude towards his peers, saying he ‘looks down on people’. “I'm not a fan of Ibra,” Cisse said. “He goes over the top. He lacks humility. “Just because he's a player who's out of the ordinary doesn't mean he has to look down on people and show a lack of respect for players who perhaps don't have his talent. - Full Story via Kickoff